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Incremental global core traffic forecast

- New study shows demands for Internet bandwidth will more than double in two years and grow by an order of magnitude in five years, placing excessive demands on current network architectures -

An independent Global Bandwidth Study, commissioned by CIP Technologies, has revealed that the bandwidth glut is history and the world’s consumers are facing a bandwidth famine.

Due to huge changes in network content and social behaviours, the bandwidth demand is set to exceed 160 Tbits/s by 2010 – an annual demand that exceeds the equivalent of the combined broadband network usage of the previous decade (1998-2008).

The demonstrable explosion of consumer’s use of online video and data services, which includes the BBC’s iPlayer and YouTube, has seen the demand for internet bandwidth soar. The BBC reported that over 21 million programmes were requested on iPlayer in April 2008 alone, only 4 months after going live.

The author of the new independent study, David Payne, formerly BT and now with the Institute of Advanced Telecommunications at Swansea University, has calculated that the increasing demands are not a temporary change in behaviour, but the beginning of a massive requirement for additional bandwidth as the use of online video and data services increases.

Explains David Payne: “Around the turn of the millennium, we used to talk about a bandwidth “glut”. There was a lot of idle capacity. Networks now are being used in a way that few people foresaw, for example early take-up of personalised video, rather than broadcast television, dominating internet video services. Based on a range of service scenario models, it is clear that demands for bandwidth will continue to put increasing pressure on existing network infrastructures. By 2018, assuming that this capacity is made available by the operators; usage could grow to 40 to 100 times the levels seen in networks today. However it is difficult to see how operators can economically grow existing network architectures to meet this demand, and further consideration of the types of networks and the technology deployed is required if they are to ensure profitability.

A significant investment is needed to ensure that businesses can share large files and send high quality images (for health, design and videoconferencing purposes) and home users are able to access and enjoy high definition internet television (IPTV), on-line gaming and other services requiring large data transfers at high speed such as video-clip and image sharing."

David Smith, Chief Technology Officer for CIP, said: “The Global Bandwidth Study demonstrates that current telecom networks will be unable to cope with the scaling demands for bandwidth. A step-change in technology is needed that can not only deliver this bandwidth demand at economic cost but also significantly reduce the amount of energy required to power and cool it. The current technology will be physically too large and energy-hungry to deliver the levels of bandwidth growth demanded by users. A new technology is required that will help deliver the bandwidth and support the telcos’ challenge to reduce costs and their carbon footprint. CIP believes that photonic integration will be increasingly the way forward to provide the step change cost reduction per unit bandwidth necessary to economically meet projected demand.”

For further information, visit www.ciphotonics.com. An interim report on this study can be found at http://www.ciphotonics.com/cip_technical.htm

ends

Notes to Editors:
Interviews with CIP are available on request.

About CIP Technologies:
CIP Technologies is the trading name of The Centre for Integrated Photonics Ltd, a leading manufacturer of advanced photonic hybrid integrated circuits and InP based optoelectronic chips, devices, arrays and modules for the communications and defence markets. With over 600 man-years of expertise in photonics and nearly 250 published articles and patents, CIP Technologies refines research into viable, manufacturable products based on leading edge technologies, helping customers develop the photonic products of tomorrow. CIP Technologies is a major provider of technical services and consultancy and its uniquely broad range of competencies is based on world-renowned research, incorporating III-V photonic materials, silicon micromachining, planar silica waveguides and network architecture design and analysis. With state-of-the-art, ISO9001:2000 registered, co-located fabrication, coating, test, validation and pilot production facilities, as well as strategic partnerships with volume packaging providers, CIP Technologies is able to develop and deliver exciting product ideas based on these core competences. (http://www.ciphotonics.com)

For further information please contact:
Peppa Sheridan at Milner LLP
Telephone: + 44 7725 121189
peppa.sheridan@milnerllp.com

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